I’ve heard I shouldn’t use a regular hammer with my chisels but why it that? Is a rubber mallet ok? Can I use a wooden mallet? Or is a hard plastic mallet the best option? I’m on a budget so if I can get away with a wooden mallet I can make that myself 🙂
Wood or plastic, easy to make a wooden one. Avoid metal hammers as they are really hard on your chisel handles.
I was unable to buy a small piece of 3 inch thick hardwood so I just took some 1×4 maple and laminated it together. Easy to cut the wedge for the handle this way too.
On plastic handled chisel you can get away with using a steel hammer.
Even so using steel hammer not really good practice in my opinion.
If you have wooden handles on chisels a wooden mallet or a plastic faced hammer should be used.
Yes you could make a mallet yourself use a bit of beech would be ideal try not to use pine a little soft for a mallet.
Just to be a gadfly and prove that there’s never 1 correct answer in woodworking… Take a look at Richard Maguire using a lump hammer as his primary “mallet” here: http://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/?p=689 . I saw this a few months ago when I was searching for a new mallet myself. I picked up something similar at the local hardware store and have used it (although not exclusively) with very good results so far.
Having said that, I think you’ll be better off following the conventional advice to get started.
I’ve been using a rounded poly-urethane coated wood-carving hammer (maple handle). The heavier versions can be used for tougher work: like mortices. I have found it great to work with, although you wouldn’t think so by looking at it. Not exactly cheap for a hammer; but worth it.
I would stay away from regular steel, or nail-type hammers.
I did cringe a bit when I see Richard use his lump hammer.
I know it seems wrong but I think because of the shear weight of hammer you can take lighter blows. I cannot remember wether his chisel had a metal feral ring at the top of chisel handle.
Also I think the Japanese use steel mallets. Then again Japanese chisel are made differently to most western chisel. I think they use a socket as well as a tang.
Western chisels either use a tang or a socket not both together like Japanese chisels.
I will stay with a wooden mallet.
In Germany, there are traditional wooden mallets as well as bronze ones (from brand Kirschen). IIRC, some of their chisels have a full tang (I think it’s called at least with knifes, where the blade steel goes completely through the handle), would have to look it up to verify it, though.
[quote quote=27586]Hi Germany, greetings from Belgium 🙂 I do a lot of my shopping on the German Amazon but I found in the case of woodworking tools that UK Amazon is significantly cheaper. Can you recommend other resellers for woodworking tools in Germany?[/quote]
there is a pretty nice list of vendors at holzwerken.de (http://www.holzwerken.de/werkzeug.phtml#einkauf). A good range of quality products is available from http://feinewerkzeuge.de and http://dictum.de where I have already ordered from as well as from http://www.schreinerhandel.de Aside from that, ebay can be an option. I have also ordered from amazon uk and axminster. And there is an artists shop, where you can get Kirschen chisels and gouges for a bit less than at the Kirschen shop: http://gerstaecker.de
Hope this helps,
I had two types of mallets on my bench – the hammer type Paul uses and a turned round carving mallet – and I used both quite a bit. It wasn’t long before I found myself reaching for one over the other as a matter of personal preference. I’m not sure if it was the fit in my hand or a more effective user experience, but I now prefer a turned round wood mallet when chopping with my chisels. The preference happened without my thinking about it. I think preference for many tools develops this way, buy trying things long enough to really know how they work for YOU.
I use one I made from maple, like the one Paul sometimes uses. It’s got some real momentum and makes short work of most tasks without damaging my chisels.
I want to make another one at some point, similar to the new one by Blue Spruce. I really like the form of traditional wooden mallets and this one looks lovely.
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